SECTION TEN
  POETRY PAGE THREE

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COLUMN FIFTY-FIVE, JANUARY 1, 2001
(Copyright © 2001 Al Aronowitz)

(Photo by Myles Aronowitz)

FOR JESSE OWENS

(Copyright © 1981 Lamont B. Steptoe)

Like some dark comet
You streaked across the sky of the world
leaving nations to wonder
for generations.
Magic African shaman
bolting from the blocks
faster than a slave
from a hound dog
running North to freedom.
Ran so fast that Der Furher
was in a fervor
and jackbooted Nazis
couldn't believe their eyes!
Blew Deutschland's mind
years before the Allies pounded
Berlin to rubble.
Didn't they know
that your ancestors use to chase Gazelle
for fun?
They say you died
but naw
you just movin' so fast
they canít see you no mo'
do 'dat Jesse!  ##

* * *

WINDOW SHOPPING

(Copyright © 1995 Lamont B. Steptoe)

us po' Black boys
walked the streets
of the Pittsburgh 1950's
business district
on Sundays
dazzled by the attire
of the white dummies
in the department store windows
the "Floreshim shoes"
the "Brooks Brothers" suits
the "Stetson hats"
belonged on "our" bodies
those silk ascots
those gold cuff links
would be ours if we could
but sell enough papers
hock enough "pop" bottles
run enough errands
beg and borrow long enough  

With those shoes, those suits
those fine button downed shirts
would come beautiful women and love
and sports cars and a house on a hill
overlooking the sea and wonderful kids
and everything glorious
just like in the movies
and we would forget
our dark painful roots
mired in poverty and racism
in a steel town
that used "niggers" like "iron ore"
in the blast furnace of life  ##  

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